Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage.   Posted by The Game Master.Group: 0
The Game Master
 GM, 984 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 04:21
Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Annum: Funalis
0th Matrinalis
8:99 Blessed

12PM, Noon


This is Knight Corporal Jariek, Talia and Neala's exclusive thread

As the freemen of this tiny village located along the fringe of the untamed and merciless Korcari wilds will tell you, "Life in Sothmere is not for the weak."

Cursed with little fertile land, short growing seasons and the threats of the unforgiving swampy wilderness to the south, the villagers of Sothmere lead a hardy life. However, wealth is to be found for those willing to brave the hardships of Sothmere. Ryott, a protein-rich grain highly valued throughout Ferelden, is notoriously difficult to grow, but here in Sothmere, Ryott springs from the ground as easy as corn or wheat does in other parts of Ferelden.

Nestled in a gentle valley between the high hills of Southron, Sothmere sits along a creek that flows through the hills and peters out into a marsh to the southwest. During the rainy summer seasons, the creek extends past the marsh and all the way to the Sundrand River to the south. A wooden fort, dubbed Fort Sothmere, had been build atop a high hill ten years ago to watch over Sothmere and the rich Ryott fields.

However, the growing numbers of Chasind Stalker raids of late have prompted Arl Voychek Neruda of Stenhold Keep to improve his military outpost lest his ryott fields and source of valuable income be ruined. Within months, new buildings such as housing for the labourers, craftsmen and masons and their families, a tavern and inn, stables and a town hall were built, transforming the quiet village of Sothmere into a growing town.

As the new stone Fort of Sothmere grows everyday, so do the hopes and dreams of the villagers. In just a few more months, their fields would be better protected from wildlife and the Chasind by the increased number of soldiers in the barracks, and there is even talk about building a road that would lead directly to the town of Stenhold thereby increasing trade prospects.

With so much potential for Sothmere to be a thriving town, it is little wonder that the villagers saw it fit to host a Festival to coincide with the start of Funalis - a festival that was once dedicated to the rise of Dumat, the Old God of Silence, is now spent in somber remembrance of the dead. Known as All Soul's Day, the festival is marked by people dressing up as spirits and parading the streets after midnight. For the Chantry, the holiday is also used to remember the death of Andraste, with public fires that mark her immolation and plays that depict her death. It is celebrated at the beginning of Matrinalis.

Heading the Funalis/All Soul's Day celebration at Sothmere is none other than Knight Corporal Jareik. After his failed attempt to capture a runaway mage, Jareik was re-assigned to backwater Sothmere to, in the words of his superior, "spread and guard the word of The Maker."

From finding mid-wives, to taking on the role of marriage counselor and village school disciplinarian, Jareik performed duties that matched a village priest more than a templar, warrior of The Maker, ever since he arrived in the month of Cloudreach. Today, was no different. Besides organizing the decorations and food for the feast, Jareik also had to welcome and bless travelers who wished to pay respects to Andraste at the village shrine.

However, pious travelers and visitors weren't the only ones to visit Sothmere and partake in the festivities.

One of them was Talia, a young elf, curious about the the world of humans and eager to make a name for herself, found herself in Sothmere after hearing word of a festival.

Another was Neala Nathaira, a young bandit who left her bandit group a few weeks ago in search of better prospects. After their leader Jago stole a golden statue from Andruil's altar, their gang had been beset by an elvish curse. One by one, her friends succumbed to either starvation or injury. To make matters worse, their leader, though concerned about the welfare of his band, sold the statue and lost the opportunity of restoring the relic back to Andruil's altar.

Fearing for her life, Neala packed up her belongings and left, traveling anywhere she could in search of simple work that would get her through the day. Her journey took her west and finally to Sothmere.

Who would have thought that three very distinct individuals, would later be thrown into a whirlwind of events that would force them to put aside their differences, work together as one and become Heroes!



OOC: It is noon and most of the festival is already underway. The festival feast will be held at the village hall at 5PM and everyone is invited. There are entertainers, merchants and hawkers parading the streets and hawking their wares at their booth.

Please post an introductory post. My next update will fast forward to the feast.

Knight Corporal Jareik
 player, 12 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 14:17
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
"Welcome, Maker bless you." said Jareik, forcing a smile at the latest few believers who passed him to continue their way to the shrine.
At least these ones did not engage him in conversation or worst, ask his opinion on some theological matter. Most villagers thought of him as a priest and he couldn't blame them, without the typical templar armor there was nothing to mark him as one, he was asked to dressed in a more discreet manner for this assignment.
Even his treasured sword was unsheathed and lying against a wall nearby, out of sight but close enough in the very unlikely case that he might need it, but worst trouble he's had so far was breaking up scuffles of drunks.


Sighing, he couldn't help but mull his failure that led to him being exiled here in all but name. He had been pursuing a mage armed with next to no information and with no phylactery due to unforeseen circumstances, and in the end made the wrong call, deciding against splitting up his group and taking the wrong path.
By the time he had figured out his mistake the apostate had been long gone and he was forced to return to the circle empty handed, his chance at a fast promotion squandered and years of dedicated work gone to waste.
He did not protest at the decision though, and felt had he ordered his group to split up to chase down all leads and something had happened to either of his Templar companions, he would never have forgived himself. Maker willing, there will be opportunities to redeem himself in the future.

Looking at the bright lights of festivities in the distance, he pondered there were worst places to be assigned to at least.
Heck he would make the envy of quite a few templars who barely left their circles whereas he was at a festival full of delicious meals, he could smell the distant aroma of the feast being prepared even from here.
He would have plenty to write about to his old friends in the order when he  finally found the time to do so.

"Welcome, Maker bless you." he droned on to the next few people with another forced smile. Hearing laughter in the distance, he hoped to visit a few stalls himself if he had time before the feast started. Only just 4 more hours of standing here and greeting people...

This message was last edited by the player at 19:38, Sat 06 Dec 2014.

Talia
 player, 2 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 16:23
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Though young for an elf, Talia had enough experience to realize with bitter truth that humans judged her based on her ears, and so she hid them beneath her long and flowing brown hair. To all eyes, she was a slender human woman of perhaps an inch or two past five and a half feet in height. She wore a smile made genuine by the wondrous excitement and hope which suffused the growng village. It reminded her of home; the Alienage wasn't a place made beautiful by its rickety buildings, sweeping vistas of tightly-packed homes or breath-takingly claustrophobic spaces, but by its people. It was that energy to which Talia was now drawn, the simple and honest energy of people excited by the future and by the prospects of a good time.

Talia's clothing was drab; she'd cut and sewn it herself, so it was shaped well, but one could do only so much with joined ratskin. Cured, it worked well enough, similar to leather, though more supple. Still, she was an eye-catching young woman and her form helped distract viewers from the mundanity and absent color of her clothing. Her smile, radiant like the sun as it first crested the horizon, added an aura of cheer and warmth which only enhanced her friendly demeanor. It saddened her just a little to know that brushing back her hair could often undo all of her companionable and approachable efforts, but that was a risk she had to take in order to dip her feet into that lovel pool of community which she missed so, so dearly from back home.

A man stood as a greeter, turning his dead eyes and tired gaze to each newcomer as they arrived.

"Well met, ser." She offered to the man, smiling brightly in the hopes of changing his day's fortune even a little.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:24, Sat 06 Dec 2014.

Knight Corporal Jareik
 player, 13 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 19:59
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Jareik blinked as a rather ravishing young woman stopped to speak and smile at him before returning with his best attempt at a dashing smile, not that he was looking his best in the simple robes that had been provided to him.

"A fine day to you milady. Hope you enjoy the celebrations."


All in all, this really wasn't a bad posting.
Talia
 player, 3 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 20:11
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Talia smiled at the Knight Corporal.

"Thank you, me ser. Do you have any suggestions for where I might begin? I am new to the area and unfamiliar with what is around."
Knight Corporal Jareik
 player, 14 posts
Sat 6 Dec 2014
at 20:51
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
"Your first time in Sothmere eh?" nodded Jareik.
"Well the main feast won't be ready for a few more hours but if you're hungry after your journey to get here I'd start with some of the stalls selling food along the main road, just like this year's Funalis draws folk from all across the region, so do the food vendors come from all across ferelden."

He motioned the main road leading to the village center, dotted with stalls.

"Otherwise at the moment there's quite a few bonfires and improvised plays set up by the chantry in the village center, perhaps you like puppets? They say it's more for children but always preferred them puppet shows myself, a bit lighter then what the chantry puts on. If you'd prefer just walking around then there's loads of musicians and performers to liven up your exploration and the market area has merchants selling all kinds of souvenirs to bring back to your loved ones."

He took a breath before continuing. He hadn't had a chance to prattle on about the festival to many visitors and considering he helped organize the thing it was quite pleasant to be able to rant about it, especially to this delightful woman and her lovely smile.

"After the feast you can expect to see more and more people dressed up as spirits, especially after night fall, by the time the midnight festival starts the town will have more spirits then living!" he accompanied the last part with dramatic spooky hand gestures.

"Oh, and I assume you'll be wanting to pay your respects to Andraste , the shrine is just a little further this way." He motioned the path behind him leading to a soft hill with the shrine to Andraste just out of view.
"May you enjoy your stay, Maker bless you!"

This message was last edited by the player at 14:42, Sun 07 Dec 2014.

Talia
 player, 4 posts
Mon 8 Dec 2014
at 22:50
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
"That sounds lovely!" Talia said, her smile brightening at the prospects laid out for her by the Knight Corporal.  "So much to do; this is wonderful!  I never guessed it would be like this..."

There was something of innocent hope and wonder in the young woman's voice as she looked around, raising her gently-closed fists to her mouth in a half-hearted attempt to conceal her glee.  "Thank you so much for the information." She said after a pause, locking gazes with Jareik for just a moment.

In truth, Talia was beyond thrilled to find such a place; the placid and quaint settlement and its celebration were precisely what she needed after her recent travels.  It felt wonderful to be away from the confines of the city and all of its smells and tension, to be out in the wilderness and yet still cloaked in the warmth of civilization.  The people all seemed so content, wrapping themselves up in home and hearth with a vitality which Talia appreciated more than those around her could ever know.
The Game Master
 GM, 991 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 08:57
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
1PM

Taking a break from greeting the crowd, Jareik decides to make his way to the fairgrounds dance tent.

Inside the tent, Neala Nathaira had found a spot to enjoy the performance by Dielza, a silky voiced Dalish entertainer who performs ancient elven dances and songs while her brother Olek plays the accompanying music. Upon entry, Neala had caught Olek's eye and the young musician seemed to be playing his music to impress her.

Sheriff Milo Kovic, the limping burgomaster of Sothmere, can be seen wandering around the festival conversing with vendors and festival goers. Those who had been living in Sothmere for a time would know that Sheriff Milo had made his interest in marrying Wanda off to Ser Vilem Richta, the knight in command of Fort Sothmere very clear. Only that this decision had incurred his daughter's ire who has no interest in marrying, and instead seemed to have nursed an affection for Knight Corporal Jariek.

Thus, when Jariek arrived at the tent, the young woman was quick to ask for a dance, to which the young Templar obliged.

-------------------

Meanwhile, Talia was enjoying sweets and ale while watching bards, illusionists and jugglers perform at the Festival grounds when she passes by a stall run by Bogdan the blacksmith who greets her warmly and shows off another expertly crafted weapon available for sale. The two chat amicably for a moment when suddenly, a man stumbles pass her, yellow skinned, bleeding and mumbling weakly.

His appearance scared some around him while others thought he was part of the performing troupe doing a scene. Suddenly, he collapses and starts writhing in the mud and frothing from the mouth, and almost as quickly as he collapsed, he springs back to his feet and lunges at a young couple right in front of Talia! The man attacks the boy and blood spurts from his neck wound and the girlfriend could only scream in horror.

By then, everyone around them was scattering in fright, some called for the Sheriff while others called for the Maker. A pair of Fort Sothmere soldiers who were attending the festivities happened near and tried to help.

The Chasind Stalker's raid on Sothmere is in full swing!

----------

Inside the dance tent, Wanda was happily enjoying a dance with Jariek when her father, Sheriff Milo, brought Ser Vilem over to interrupt. This caused a stand-off between father and daughter to which Jariek decides to excuse himself and leave the tent when a barbaric human with unnaturally yellow skin and bulging veins comes tearing through the tent wall.

The barbarian roars with an unnatural fury, sending the already panicked dancers into a frenzy. "The Chasind!" someone cries and sure enough, the Chasind begins to menace the elderly Sheriff. In an effort to protect her father, Wanda grabs the barbarian's arm only to receive a large gash on her forearm by the Chasind's dagger. She collapses to the ground

By now, the entire town is in utter chaos. A random festival goer stumbles into the tent and sounds the alarm screaming, "Stalkers! They're here!"
--------------

"These are no ordinary Chasind!" Bogdan yells as he beheads an attacking barbarian with his Bastard sword.

Off to the side, Talia witnesses a bleeding villager, her skin unnaturally yellow suddenly attack the child she was carrying. "That's my wife!" Bogdan cries. The screaming babe tried to fend off her crazed mother to no avail, yelling, "Mommy, stop! Daddy! Help!" With a cry of horror, Bogdan stabs his wife but it is too late, both mother and child are dead. Talia sees the blacksmith collapse to the ground in rage and sorrow. All around, the young elf sees the people who were once villagers or festival goers sudden turn against their own.

------------

Back in the dance tent, Dielza, crawls desperately for safety with a nasty gash across her leg while her brother, Olek, is fiercely staving off two Stalkers with a large knives.

By now, the Sheriff had unsheathed his longsword and impaled his attacker with his weapon, killing the Chasind with one blow. "Help! Help my Wanda!" The Sheriff screams even as frightened villagers push and knock into one another. Out of the corner of Jareik's eye, he sees two jaundiced men dressed like Chasind enter the tent from either side and attack the dancers as they try to flee.

Then Ser Vilem Richta yells over the chaos, "Come on! Everyone, to the town hall!" even as he and his soldiers start carving a way for the survivors.



OOC: Time 1:30PM.

It's chaos! Talia is outside with Bogdan the blacksmith. The town hall is just a few steps away but Talia, you see a boy trapped under a cart with a Chasind trying to get to him. Bogdan is collapsed to the ground hugging his dead family and another Chasind is also closing in on him. Talia, What do you do?

Inside the dance tent, Sheriff Milos is trying to carry his daughter, Wanda to safety. But two new Chasind stalkers have entered the tent, blocking the exit. Olek is trying to fend off another two stalkers. His sister is crawling to a torn hole in the tent in a bit to escape. Jariek and Neala, what do you do?


If you are attacking, roll initiative, roll attack roll and damage roll.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:04, Wed 10 Dec 2014.

Talia
 player, 5 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 17:29
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Talia gasped in horror at the sights before her, catching sight of the Chasind as they swooped down upon the village with savage force.  Moving quickly, she dashed over to Bogdan's side, swinging her walking staff at the Chasind moving in on the blacksmith.

"Stay away from him!"

Fear struck Talia like a cold wind, rushing through her almost instantaneously as she regarded the Chasind attackers.  There was so much wrong in the moment that the young woman felt mildly ashamed that one of her first thoughts was the hope that her hair wouldn't blow around too much and reveal her ears.  As she struck out at the Chasind, Talia wondered what would happen next, how she would act: almost all of her choices led down a path which could reveal things she tried very hard to keep secret.
Knight Corporal Jareik
 player, 15 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 18:32
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Jareik was initially distracted and a bit distraught by the situation between Wanda and the Sheriff, so he took precious seconds to process what was happening.
He finally snapped out of his shock as Wanda collapsed, the sight of her bloodied arm widening his eyes in horror before shock transformed into righteous fury.

Drawing his sword, a templar longsword, the only possession of his that still marked him as being off the Order, he nodded at the Sheriff and checked on Wanda, helping her up if she still breathes.

Self accusations tormented his mind, he had been so focused on the festivities he had let his guard down and not been as attentive to security as he should have been. What a fool he had been for being so complacent.

If his route isn't barred by Chasind, he tries to escort Wanda towards the town hall.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:58, Thu 11 Dec 2014.

Neala Nathaira
 player, 3 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 21:52
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
Neala wasn't specially happy with the attention she had been getting form the musician, one of her background couldn't help but wonder if she had met with one person in the past whenever some unusual attention was earned. If that was the case, it was never good, she had sold herself as a hunter when coming to Sothmere but it was hard to tell just who could recognize her or not believe her even without knowing who she was. Perhaps she should rearrange her appearance and clothes to try deal with the issue... With such thoughts in mind, she had grown anxious and was about to leave the tent when everything happened. It was a weird image and feeling to her, like the most ruthless robberies on the roads, only in a crowded town festival.

As if things weren't bad enough with her suspicions of being discovered and the sudden carnage that had put her previous concerns in a secondary plane, she was unarmed. Not wanting to draw any of the attention that an armed stranger in a festival would had brought, she had left them along some of her other things at the inn she had managed to get accommodation in (not a small feat considering the time of the year). After the initial commotion, Neala rushed for the improvised exit that Dielza had found, all the more driven to leave it and reach the inn, if she could get her arms and possessions, she could try to leave the town... Chasind or not, she knew little to nothing about it, as far as she could tell, it was either some kind of raid on an unseen scale for her or for whatever reason some of the townsmen were rioting, either way, she wanted to get out of Sothmere by any means possible.
The Game Master
 GM, 994 posts
Sat 13 Dec 2014
at 01:48
Re: Chapter Twenty Four - Amber Rage
A wave of protectiveness for Wanda overwhelms Jareik as he swiftly scoops the fallen girl into his strong arms and tries to make it for the Town Hall while Sheriff Milo and a few soldiers of Sothmere work hard to protect them.

Meanwhile, Neala is desperate to get away. She manages to brush past the two stalkers Olef is feverishly trying to fend off and hops over the injured Dielza to exit via a tear in the tent.

Outside, Neala is met with a scene of utter chaos and horror! She sees villagers fighting villagers, Chasind chasing and terrorizing villagers and soldiers trying their best but being overwhelmed.

The inn, The Sothmere Bed is a few paces away and Neala ducks in, hoping to find safety and more importantly, her things! However, the inn too is in chaos! Immediately, she is assailed by a villager with extreme jaundice and had it not been for a well placed blow by a dwarf, Neala would have been dead meat!

"Git outta 'ere' lass!" he yells at Neala, "Tae de Town Hall!"

Talia is torn by the decisions she has to make. Ignoring the child's pleas, Talia decides to protect the mourning Bogdan by fending off a Chasind. However, her blow is weak and ill-timed and had it not been for a Fort Sothmere soldier, Talia would have been struck by the Chasind's deadly blade.

"Come on! We've got to go," the soldier says to Talia and Bogdan.

OOC:

Everyone:

Roll a TN 13 (Perception) Smelling - success means you smell something unpleasant everytime you get close to a rager.
Also, roll a TN 13 Constitution (Stamina) check and TN 13 Dexterity check

Jariek, roll an additional TN 15 (Perception) Smelling test.